Jeff de Guzman

Jeff de Guzman

 

 

Nothing gives me greater joy than traveling to new places with only my essentials, and my trusty camera. With every place that I visit, I try to capture the moments around me through my own interpretation. For me, even crowded tourist spots, which most likely already have tons of tourist photos lingering around the net, can always be captured in a unique way that only you can imagine. And the fact that I am able to share these moments with other people is what makes photography even more fulfilling.

We are surrounded by boundless beauty waiting to be photographed, and it is my mission to share it with the rest of the world.

 

 

 

Photos credits: Paolo Pareno

Erin Sotto

Erin Sotto

 

 

I travel to get disconnected.

Travelling gives me a break from reality while still being able to live life as it is, away from the internet and my fast paced lifestyle.

There was a time when I went on a five day vacation to Palawan without any gadgets. Even though my digital detox lasted for barely a week, it was already a milestone for me and everyone else around me. My family members would continue asking me where my phone was, even after several episodes of me reminding them that I left it at home. It made me realise how attached we humans of the 21st century can be to these man-made devices. They’ve simply become a part of our LIVES. It’s as if we need them almost as much as we need to eat or breath. But I proved that theory to be a fallacy. I had no regrets of being able to discover the breathtaking island of Coron the way it should be — away from the need to constantly update everyone in the online world. Next time I travel, I’m going to keep up this tradition that I started. (For the photos, I’ll leave that up to the people who can’t let go of their cameras.)

At the same time, I travel to get connected. To get REALLY connected. With the absence of a screen in front of my face 24/7, there’s more time to make real connections. There’s no such thing as strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet!

 

 

Sean Chan

Sean Chan

 

 

I travel because I love being awe-inspired. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you’ve hit “Eureka” moments, or simply immerse in alien environments that leave you bewildered. I think the real beauty and joy that comes with traveling it not just being lost in body, but also lost in spirit and mind.

Wherever I travel, I always find myself in new experiences. More often than not, I am left unprepared to appreciate the vast wonders of the world around me, and even more so for the humble, lively people that add color to this canvas. The Earth itself is already a beautiful work of art, but it is in the souls and humanity of people that truly make it a masterpiece.

To some extent, traveling upholds the “To see is to believe.” mentality. True enough, it is only when we see things unknown to us, that our mind begins to open up and believe in different beliefs, cultures, and perspectives. Our awareness broadens as we expand our horizons and adventure into the frontier. But most of all, we get to see what’s beyond our everyday lives, to see what’s beyond the mission of an individual, and ultimately see the purpose of humanity as a loving society on this planet.

 

 

 

Photos credits: Jeff de Guzman

Travel Mini Map: Intramuros Edition

Travel Mini Map: Intramuros Edition

Relive the Spanish colonial period hub of government, religion, and culture, all encompassed inside the walls that surround these edifices of European structures. Follow us as we take you “within the walls” of the famed Intramuros! Sixty-four hectares of land has never been this easy to explore!

 

1. Light and Sound Museum

 

 

Savor the Filipino pride in the light and sound museum! Experience the building and the breaking of Intramuros walls, the martyrdom of Rizal, and other revolutionary leaders like Lapu-Lapu, Rajah Soliman and Andres Bonifacio among others. The museum is divided into three parts: the pre-Hispanic civilization, the Spanish colonial era, and the life and martyrdom of Jose Rizal. It will only be a one hour tour that you must attend!

 

Address: Santa Lucia corner Victoria Street

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php150 per person

Contact Number: (02) 524 2827 or (02) 551 3945

2. National Commission for Culture and the Arts

 

 

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts or abbreviated NCCA is the government arm for culture and the arts. They are in charge of delivering assistance to the culture and arts community and the public. Inside the building you can also find a museum. Be sure to pick up their free newsletters that are displayed on the tables.

 

Address: 633 General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 7:00am to 8:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 2192

 

3. Silahis Arts and Artifacts

 

 

Established in 1966, the Silahis Arts and Artifacts shop has been engaged in designing, producing, wholesaling, retailing and exporting the finest of handmade Philippine products. The Silahis Arts and Artifacts is only one out of three departments of the center. The Chang Rong Antique Gallery which displays oriental ceramics, maps, textiles, and primitive art. Old and new cultural publications on Asia, the Philippines and the Pacific can be found in Tradewind Books, while Galeria De Las Islas features fine arts, prints, and sculpture. Be sure to check them all out!

 

Address: 744 General Luna Street

Open Hours: Saturdays to Sundays from 10:00am to 7:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 2111 or (02) 527 0496

 

4. Casa Manila

 

 

Take a step back in time as you enter the grand Casa Manila. The Casa Manila is a Spanish colonial home reconstructed by the then first lady Imelda Marcos. Look around the place and notice the authentic antiques that the architecture offers. You will be greeted by guardiya civil, which will help you imagine that you are really in the 1800’s time period. When exploring Casa Manila, you will need a tour guide to help you around the place. You can also find the famous Bambike here, which you can rent for Php100 an hour to tour around Intramuros! You can even opt to get a two seater bike for you and a friend! End your tour with a delicious meal at Barbara’s. Yes, it isn’t a pure heritage zone, there are restaurants that make the place functional!

 

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, corner Real and General Luna Streets

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php75 for adults

                           Php50 for students, teachers, and senior citizens

Contact Number: (02) 527 4084 or (02) 527 4088

 

5. Bahay Tsinoy

 

 

Also known as the Kaisa Angelo King Heritage Center, Bahay Tsinoy is the museum of Chinese in Philippine life. “Tsinoy” comes from the combination of the words “Chinese” and “Pinoy”. In the museum, you get to witness the saga of the Chinese in the Philippines and understand the evolution of these sojourners into Tsinoys. Over the years, the Kaisa Heritage Center has turned into a grand location that houses halls and rooms for parties, shows, concerts, seminars, and all the events you could possible think of.

 

Address: 32 Anda Street corner Cabildo Street

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php100 for adults

                           Php60 for students

Contact Number: (02) 527 6083 or (02) 526 6796

 

6. Fort Santiago

 

 

Fort Santiago is like a town inside Intramuros. Inside it, you can find the Plaza Moriones, the parade grounds of the soldiers, the martyr’s wall, which has the names of casualties and prisoners of war on it, as well as some almacénes, the royal warehouses that used to hold gunpowder and bombs. On the gate of Fort Santiago is Santiago de Matamoros, whom the Spaniards believed to be their defenders.

 

Address: Santa Clara corner General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 8:00am to 9:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php75 per person

Contact Number: N/A

7. Rizal Shrine

 

 

You can expect to find historical pieces of information from the life of Jose Rizal that you may have never heard of before. Did you know that he planned to volunteer in Cuba as a doctor before he was shot? Or that he was an architect and a game developer? Did you know he NEVER wore a barong Tagalog? Pay a visit – for FREE – to this museum to discover more trivia like these!

 

Address: Fort Santiago, General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

                      Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 263 8821

 

8. San Agustin Church and Museum

 

 

If you’re from the Philippines, chances are you’ve visited this church and museum on one of your field trips. We challenge you to revisit the place in a whole new perspective! Here are some spots and items that should be on your iSpy list next time you visit:

-Sacristy

-Sala De La Capitulacion

-3,400 kg bell

-Father Blanco’s Garden

-Biblioteca

-Porcelain Room

-Church Vestments

-Orator/Antechior/Choirloft

-Refactory

-San Pablo Hall

 

Address: General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 8:00am to 12:00pm & 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php100 for adults

                           Php80 for senior citizens

                           Php40 for children

Contact Number: (02) 527 2746

 

9. Manila Cathedral

 

 

You’ve probably attended a wedding or two in this cathedral, as it is one of the most popular churches that hosts weddings in Manila! Its history gives a very symbolic implication to future husbands and wives. Having survived multiple destructions and still standing today, this is the ideal basilica to get married in! Just be warned that it can be hard to get a reservation for a wedding here as plenty Filipino couples also have your same idea of tying the knot in this cathedral. If you tour around Intramuros, you are likely to see a bridal car every so often since weddings here are limited to only thirty minutes a ceremony!

 

Address: Santo Tomas Street

Mass Schedules: Mondays to Fridays at 7:30am and 12:15nn

                              Saturdays at 7:30am

                              Sundays at 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am, 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 3093

 

10. Palacio del Gobernador

 

 

Literally translating into the “Palace of the Governor”, it was the residence of the governor general back in the day. The building used to reside nearer to Fort Santiago before its current location because of the many trials it experienced. It was struck by two earthquakes. Today it is a 14-story building that houses the Intramuros Administration and the government offices.

 

Address: General Luna Street corner Postigo corner Soriano Street

Contact Number: (02) 527 3155

 

 

Sources: Reynel and Rozie, Spot.ph, Philippine Primer, Viator, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Pilgrims Knapsack, Philippines Travel Guide

Special thanks to: Johhan Ararao and Bruce Ingat

Photo credits: Jeffrey de Guzman and Kat Candelaria

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Andrew Cua

Andrew Cua

 

 

Traveling helps me discover my purpose. Being on the road towards the unknown helps me rediscover myself and my purpose. It gives me a strong sense of ‘me’ by seeing how the ‘self’ responds and react to different kinds of unique mystery, surprises and moments ahead of the journey.

By traveling, one becomes vulnerable and open to new experiences. One becomes ready for possibilities that our minds and emotions can never fathom inside a room or in our day-to-day routines. This vulnerability allows us to let these experiences shape us to become better individuals. This openness enables us to see the world and ourselves differently.

In every experience, it involves people especially the locals who see the destination as their home. By being open to possibilities, we let stereotypes and biases get taken away as we open ourselves to these experiences of the locals. Ultimately, we uncover the mystery of ourselves and our purpose as we discover the unknown with the locals and the experiences we have with them.

 

 

 

Photos credits: Jeff de Guzman

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